[Skip to content]

How to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction

How to claim Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction

First, you will need to check whether you need to apply for Universal Credit or Housing Benefit for help towards your rent.

If you receive Housing Benefit, or the housing cost element of Universal Credit, and you are struggling to pay your rent you can also ask us to consider giving you extra help, known as discretionary housing payments.

Read the sections below to find out which one you need to apply for.

You will need to apply for Universal Credit for financial help towards your rent if:

  • You are not of state pension age
  • You do not live in supported accommodation (see below)
  • You do not live in temporary council homeless accommodation

If you apply/have applied for Universal Credit and would like help towards your Council Tax bill, you will need to apply to us for local Council Tax Reduction - this in addition to your application for Universal Credit. Details of how to apply can be found below. 

Read our Universal Credit page for more details about Universal Credit.

Visit the Gov.uk website to apply for Universal Credit, for help towards your rent - remember you can also apply for help towards your Council Tax bill, which is explained below.

You will need to apply to us for Housing Benefit for financial help towards your rent if:

  • You are of state pension age
  • You live in supported accommodation (see below)
  • You live in temporary council homeless accommodation
  • You are getting the severe disability premium
  • You got the severe disability premium within the last month and you’re still eligible for it

You can apply for help towards your Council Tax bill (local Council Tax Reduction) at the same time as you apply for Housing Benefit within the same online form. Apply for Housing Benefit and local Council Tax Reduction.

I already receive Housing Benefit/Universal Credit - can I apply for help with my Council Tax bill?

If you already receive help towards your rent (through Housing Benefit or Universal Credit), you can also apply to us for help towards the cost of your Council Tax bill (local Council Tax Reduction). 

I already receive local Council Tax Reduction - can I apply for help towards my rent?

If you already receive help towards the cost of your Council Tax bill (local Council Tax Reduction, you can still apply for help towards your rent, if 1 of the 4 conditions above apply. 

What is Supported Accommodation?

Supported accommodation is where the body/person providing the accommodation is also providing the claimant with care, support or supervision and can be provided by:

  • A housing association
  • A registered charity
  • A not for profit voluntary organisation
  • An English non-metropolitan county council 
Housing Benefit is paid from the Monday after your claim is received at our offices. Housing Benefit payments are paid to you every 2 weeks in arrears, except for Council House tenants whose benefit is paid direct to their rent account.

If you are one of the following you can choose to have your benefit paid directly to your landlord:

  • Housing Association tenants 
  • Mobile home / caravan tenants 
  • Tenants who have been in receipt of Housing Benefit continuously since before 7 April 2008

There is no set figure for Housing Benefit. The amount you receive will be calculated based on the following:

  • Money you and your partner (if applicable) have coming in. This includes earnings, benefits, tax credits and pensions
  • Your and your partner’s capital, savings and investments
  • Your circumstances, such as age, who lives in the household, ages of children, whether anyone is disabled


To find out how much benefit you may be entitled to, visit the Gov.uk website for guidance figures.

How to claim

To claim Council Tax Reduction, fill in an application form and send it back to us. You can do this in several ways:


Send us original supporting documents

As well as the form, send some supporting documents for your claim. Enclose the following (original) documents with your claim form:

  • 2 forms of identification for you and your partner
  • Evidence of your National Insurance and that of your partner
  • Evidence of all income for you, your partner and anyone else who lives in your household
  • Evidence of all capital held by you and your partner (e.g. bank and building society accounts, investments, cash, property, shares, etc.)
          

All documents must be originals. Photocopies won't be accepted and may delay your claim.

What if I don't have all my documents right now?

If you haven't got all the proof we ask for to support your claim, send what you can with the form straight away. You need to send us the rest within 1 calendar month. We will write to you to confirm if any other information is needed.

How much of a reduction will I get?

The amount of  Council Tax Reduction you receive will be calculated based on the following:

  • Money you and your partner (if applicable) have coming in. This includes earnings, benefits, tax credits and pensions
  • Your and your partner’s capital, savings and investments
  • Your circumstances, such as age, who lives in the household, ages of children, whether anyone is disabled

When will I get my Council Tax Reduction?

Council Tax Reduction is normally paid from the Monday after your claim is received at our offices.

Was this page useful?
Back to top